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Avatar universal

Contracted Swine Flu July 21, 2009

Hello, I just stumbled onto this forum by accident, but thought I'd post my story here just because well, I don't know what to do anymore.

I work for a dialysis facility around a lot of immunocompromised patients who are always having some sort of health problem. We were on high alert because we live near Mexico and know that some of our patients either live there or travel back and forth. I wasn't the first to get sick, 2 other of my coworkers (along w/ many patients) were having the flu-like symptoms before me so I wore my mask and was vigilant in handwashing.

On Mon. I was fine, went to work as normal and caught the bug sometime in the afternoon. Just thought it was the regular flu, finished work, took some Mucinex & Nyquil & thought everything would be fine. Then came the 102 fever. I woke up the Tues. morning feeling like I'd been hit by a bus, took my temp still 102, took some meds & headed off to work (can't afford not to + my dr. office is right up the street), thought if it got bad enough I'd make an appt. or go to urgent care.

Long story short, it got worse... I'd been seen by my PCP who sent me to the ER with 103 fever. From there I was diagnosed w/ the Swine Flu & haven't been the same ever since. It's going on 9 WEEKS now, I've tried to work intermittently but because of the volume of symptoms + dr. appts. I've had to take a medical LOA. Originally, it was to be work comp (because my employer was ok w/ that because I most likely got it from a patient) but the company they contract their insurance through said at the beginning "SWINE FLU is NOT a work comp issue."

I'm having to go from dr. to dr. & they don't seem to take the Swine Flu seriously as attributing to my symptoms, even though ALL the symptoms started when I got sick & have only waxed & waned but come right back. This 9 wks has been hell. I'm on a 30 day medical LOA (don't qualify for FMLA) I'm not projected to get better anytime soon & am going to have to be on short term disability... which means I'm gonna lose my job & health insurance. The medical bills are piling up, they don't know when/if I can go back to work... I don't know what to do any advice would be wonderful because I'm not getting any better.

Symptoms: general flu-like symptoms, muscle aches, soreness, extreme fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, blurred/double/can't focus vision, migraine, upper abdominal pain, sores that open on scalp, rash on eyelids/neck, constant nausea, canker sores (in relation to other sores/rash that come & go w/in days), dehydration, lack of appetite, low grade fever on/off, lower left back pain over kidney, numbness/tingling legs & arms, lack of appetite, hurts intestines after eating, over acid production, malaise, lost weight, weakness, light sensitivity, neck stiffness.
6 Responses
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Avatar universal
What a wonderful relief it was to read your post. I also wonder how many other people are suffering post viral problems. I'm so glad you seem to have found a dr willing to help you & have gotten some sort of diagnosis. You probably have better healthcare there? I can't believe you've had to suffer the swine flu all the way in the UK!! Its rampant over here in San Diego. The 2 diagnoses theyve come up w/ for me are either post viral chronic fatigue syndrome or post viral lupus. I'm still sick & in pain. Not working... I hope you get this I've been out of state because my Grandpa died. Just checked this site...
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi there
I have just stumbled across this forum and can totally relate to the problems you are experiencing post swine flu.  I caught swine flu in mid July had two weeks off work to recover but haven't been 'right' since.  For quite some time after I had no energy/headaches/trouble funtioning but thought it was just post flu lethargy.  However at the beginning of September (approx 6 weeks after contracting the flu) my tiredness got far far worse to the point of sleeping 12 hours plus.  Normal life became a struggle, even making a drink was hard.  Three weeks ago the aches, pains and tingling which started in my feet but then spread to hand and arms got much worse...so I went the doctors.  It's now at the point where I have no energy, and the pain/numbness is awful.  I'm also losing hair, upset tummy etc.   Having just returned from him this morning he has diagnosed post viral arthritis..........which apparantly is to do with the bodys immune system attacking itself.....This has all come from the swine flu and until I read your post I felt like I was the only person with this..or was losing the plot.
I have no idea what to do from here...the doctor wants to see me again next week but can offer no treatment other than ...rest and hopefully the body may rectify itself!  He says at best it may take 6 to 8 weeks but then again I could be stuck with this for much longer..
Clearly you and I have trodden similar paths since swine flu so it makes me wonder how many others out there are going through the same thing.
Blessing to you xx
Tracy - Leicestershire  UK
Helpful - 0
231441 tn?1333892766
Hi,

try getting your vitamin D levels tested.  If they are low, high dose Vit D3 is supposed to be very helpful in recovering from flu.
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Avatar universal
Thanks for the kind words, it's been a difficult road & I'm totally wondering if I should seek legal advice also...

Just recently went to the Dr. again & now they'll be testing me for Post Viral Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as well as Lupus.  Apparently, a major illness can trigger both of these conditions in a person.  I also learned Tamiflu might not be the best drug out there to take, so now it's off to a Rheumatologist to determine which road I should take.  This will be the 4th Dr. I'll be needing to see, which as you can imagine the situation is becoming exhausting.

One thing all the Dr's can agree on however, is that this is coming from the Swine Flu. Had I never contracted the illness, I wouldn't be suffering from these symptoms.  Still have the endoscopy for Dec. so we'll see what goes on... What's scary is to think if Swine Flu really has triggered these things, especially Lupus, it can attack any organ in my body & the Dr's I'm working with aren't too hopeful for the outcome either.  Many people are getting secondary complications from this illness, just some are dying.  Again thanks for the replies, any other info you or anyone else can provide would be awesome.  Btw, Polly I live in San Diego. =) Hope to hear from either of you soon.  -Blessings-
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Avatar universal
I second the idea you should get a lawyer re the workers comp; I had a workers comp claim ten years ago and my employer agreed but the insurance fought it; in fact, workers comp insurance always try to deny claims but a good lawyer will win you something (get someone in a firm that represents lots of workers). More important---your ongoing symptoms may be from a secondary infection, bacterial or even parisitic; you need to see a good doctor. You don't say where you live, but if you're in or near a city with a teaching hospital, go there. And if you're in a town with only a few doctors, all of whom refer to one another, get an opinion from a well-trained doctor in your nearest city. And if you have Kaiser and they're not helping, spend the money to see a private, non-Kaiser specialist.
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Avatar universal
{{{hugs}}}  

You are going through a lot just with your illness and then to have all those other problems.  You may want to consider seeking legal advice as there is a marked difference between contracting swine flu and coming to work and working in an environment that has regular contact with swine flu and contracting the disease there.  This would be very hard to prove - but that's what lawyers are for.  I imagine this would be a case that would be argued on merits and unfortunately you doing the right thing (face masks etc) may not be in your favour.  This is only my own thoughts and not advice, so if you can, seek legal advice on your situation and what options you have.

With regard to your symptoms, consider the seeing a naturopath or someone like that - especially when conventional medicine does not work.  Also, Dr Oz or some of the more popular Doctor TV shows may have some information on the Net that may help you.

I also find saying positive statements such as "I am in good health" "My body is in perfect balance" "I am healthy"  does wonders - there is now scientific evidence showing how statements like that can have a marked effect on our wellbeing.  Louise Hays has been telling us now for years about the benefit of positive affirmations and now finally science can prove this.

I hope this helps.  
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